Dáil Éireann - Volume 642 - 04 December, 2007
Written Answers. - Higher Education Grants.
Deputy Richard Bruton Deputy Richard Bruton
Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science if there is a limit to earnings a student may themselves earn before those earnings would be added to their parents income in assessing eligibility for higher education grants. [32148/07]
Deputy Mary Hanafin Deputy Mary Hanafin
Deputy Mary Hanafin: The assessment of means under  my Department's third level student support schemes is based on gross income from all sources of the candidate and his/her parents/guardians, where applicable, with certain social welfare and health service executive payments being exempt.
Clause 13 of the Higher Education Grant Scheme deals with the declaration of income and other information. The clause includes the following: “A declaration of reckonable income shall be made by the candidate and the candidate’s parents or guardians or, in the case of an independent mature candidate, by the candidate and the candidate’s spouse, if applicable, and they shall submit to the Local Authority such information and documentation as may be required by it to process the application in full. It will be the responsibility of candidates to ensure that the statement of income and other details sought is full and complete in every respect. If a candidate’s failure to provide this full and complete information be the result of a deliberate material omission or inaccuracy, the candidate(s) shall be liable to prosecution, loss of grant and repayment, with interest, of any portion of a grant already received.”
It is necessary, therefore, that information regarding all income, including that from after school/weekend employment, is accounted for when completing the grant application form. However, in the assessment of means allowance is made for “holiday earnings” on the part of the candidate. Under the terms of the Schemes holiday earnings are considered as a candidate’s reasonable earnings from employment outside of term time. At present holiday earnings of up to €3,810 are regarded as reasonable and are, accordingly, excluded in the calculation of reckonable income for grant purposes.
Dáil Éireann 642 Written Answers. Higher Education Grants.